Northwest Local School District recognized four outstanding teachers at the November Board of Education meeting, Jayne Sayers, Anne Muddiman, Candy Sweeney and Everlyn Gibfried. The teachers were lauded for receiving the 2019 Northwest Association of Educators (NAE) Distinguished Educator Award. NAE began giving out this award in 2017. Over 100 teachers have been acknowledged and nominated by fellow colleagues for doing exceptional work and going above and beyond for their students.
Please read their nomination speeches below:
Jayne Sayers teaches at Houston Early Learning Center.
She was nominated by her colleague Lydia Bibb.
Jayne Sayers has been teaching for over 10 years. This is her fifth year in a communication unit room at our preschool. This specialized room is for students with severe communication problems. The classroom is designed by Mrs. Sayers to allow many opportunities for repeated practice, visual cues, and task analysis of everyday routines for students to meet their needs and make their wants known.
She also gives a lot of her time to the Literacy Team our district has adopted this year. She has led two in-services helping our staff with ways we can incorporate literacy in our preschool classrooms. She is also a RESA mentor to two first-year teachers here at our school. She meets with them a few times a month.
Jayne is also in the middle of getting her masters in educational leadership. She is already a great leader among our staff and well-deserving of this award!
Anne Muddiman is a teacher at Taylor Elementary.
She was nominated by school psychologist Mimi Pierce.
Annie goes above and beyond in and out and the classroom. She is a member of the Building Leadership Team. She takes this role seriously and always strives to be a voice for her fellow educators during meetings. Annie took on the overwhelming job of managing the chaos that is recess along with another teacher. In addition to those roles, she has also taken it upon herself to develop student council at Taylor Elementary. Annie works with responsible 5th-grade students to organize service-learning activities. She inspires these students to be role models in the building through their words and actions.
Annie participates in a book study that focuses on reflecting on her language with students; she is always looking for ways to grow as a teacher. Annie works very hard to motivate and enable her students to be successful. She believes in all of her students and it is important to her that they believe in themselves as well. She makes sure to build relationships with all of her students and cares about them deeply. She organizes secret readers to come into her class and even has her husband come play guitar for the kids as they sing together from time to time. She ends every week by going to each student individually and giving them a hug, high five, and/or handshake before the weekend (of course they can choose to do none of these). This past summer, when Annie, unfortunately, lost one of her students to cancer, she was sure to attend the funeral and offer support to the family. Once school was back in session, she organized a group with the school counselor for her students from last year to ensure they felt supported and understood while dealing with this tragic experience. Annie is an inspiring educator and Taylor is lucky to have her.
Candy Sweeney is a teacher at Pleasant Run Middle School.
She was nominated by Leann Moser.
This is the first year I have worked with Candace Sweeney. She is an absolute joy to work with and I am grateful to be a part of her team. Candy comes into work every day with a smile. She is so upbeat and brings that energy into her lessons. She is interactive with the students and always tries to find fun activities to keep them interested and engaged. Because of her background in Special Ed, Candy does an excellent job of differentiating work for students so that every child is learning. I have learned so much from her and how she interacts and teaches students at all ability levels. Candy is definitely a positive role model for me as a teacher. I continue to learn from her every day and I am truly blessed to get the chance to co-teach with her.
Evelyn Gibfried is a guidance counselor at Colerain High School.
Evelyn was nominated by two of her fellow counselors Meredith Tilow and Ron Russo.
Evelyn is a very special counselor who brings the ability to work with many of our Spanish speaking students and their parents and/or guardians. When I observe her working with this group of clientele, she is so patient, compassionate and understanding to meet the needs of our students. She communicates with each student and parent based on their level of understanding. You can find her many times communicating with the student in English, then immediately transition to communicating with the parent and/or guardian in Spanish.
She is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to her position as a counselor. You can always find her working with students, teachers, administrators and other counselors trying to meet the needs of all of our students from grades 9-12. She is engaged with a number of different challenges from testing, to monitoring graduation requirements for our students, to leading projects/assignments for the counseling department.
More than ever, as we are faced with a changing environment (i.e. socially, economically, and culturally), an individual such as Evelyn is needed more and more to bridge the gap. We are very fortunate to have such a person as Evelyn in our building.
I am always impressed with Evelyn's ability to go above and beyond for her students. She is able to build relationships with students and her families and they feel very comfortable coming to talk with her. Additionally, she is a strong advocate for our ESL students. Not only do they feel comfortable coming to talk with her when they need help, but she works really hard to help them build relationships with their counselors and teachers. She is always willing to translate, no matter how busy she is. She also takes students on college visits to help them see all the opportunities available to them. I am impressed with everything that she is able to accomplish each week and she is wonderful to work with!